2020 Predictions: More challenge, change and instability

Will 2020 remain a period of change and instability, and will that bring significant challenges? I believe it will, and there are many drivers for this.

Firstly, the underlying political climate following a general election and the uncertainty that Brexit continues to bring. The UK finds itself in a state of political paralysis due to the uncertainty surrounding its position in the global economy, and all of unknowns that this might lead to. Changes to corporate taxation, currency fluctuation, changes to import and export, the implications for the workforce – the list goes on. This will undoubtedly result in continued unease for businesses. As business continuity and resilience professionals, we should be at the table to provide our guidance and expertise to key decision-makers, as they plan for what comes next.

Secondly, despite the fact that the industry discussion paper on operational resilience was published jointly by the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority in July 2018, many organisations are yet to fully understand the requirements and how this impacts them, and are only now starting to act. The recent publication of further discussion papers on the topic has only brought this into sharper focus. This regulatory focus on resilience requires businesses, particularly those operating within financial services, to shift focus and look at things differently. That should not prove to be a massive challenge for experienced business continuity professionals, who should already be working holistically with all areas of their business. However, for many organisations, this may present an enormous challenge on several levels, both practically and culturally. As an industry and as practitioners, we need to interpret the requirements and steer this shift to ensure our respective businesses become truly resilient.

Lastly, we should not underestimate the impact that climate change and the shift to a more sustainable and cleaner way of life will have. Not only the physical effects and our response to them, but also the pressure on businesses to reduce their impact by shifting to more sustainable products and production methods, and reducing their emissions and consumption of natural resources. This all constitutes a significant change to how businesses operate and how we have to plan, as resilience professionals.

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